Innocence is Mamoru Oshii’s Golden Palm-nominated entry in the Ghost in the Shell series, which built upon Masamune Shirow’s original manga and Oshii’s classic film. Released to Western audiences as Ghost in the Shell 2, the film follows cyborg cop Batou soon after the disappearance of his former partner, Motoko Kusanagi. When she vanished into the Net, “the Major” left a void in Public Security Section 9 and in Batou’s life.
Innocence is possibly my favourite film of all time, and it just happens to be a cyberpunk opus. It covers so many themes relating to identity and the perils of a digital universe; it questions the ownership of human souls and untangles some deep-rooted issues in its characters. There’s a strong ‘neo-Asian’ aesthetic throughout, with forays into clockwork doll houses and Blade Runner-esque street scenes as well. Its plot, soundtrack and visuals all melt into an escapist’s paradise – an hour and a half of thought-provoking and immersive beauty.